Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stewing

I haven't been cooking much lately.  I actually find I don't enjoy cooking as much when it's just for myself.  But eating organic frozen pizza, rotisserie chicken and salads was getting boring, so I decided to step it up.  I did make chicken soup with matzo balls last week and the soup thing was appealing to me, so I decided to whip out the slow cooker and make a beef stew.  Spring vegetables are everywhere now so I bought a bunch of leeks, some zucchini, and fresh dill and combined them with the leftover root vegetables from my chicken soup.  I also added some farro for a little carbohydrate oomph.  Here's a rough version of the recipe:

Spring Beef Stew
- 1 lb stewing beef or the cut of your choice chopped into bite sized pieces
- 2 zucchini, halved and sliced
- 2 leeks, the white and light green parts halved and sliced
- 1 large turnip, cubed
- 5 small or 3 large carrots chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 container sliced cremini/baby bella mushrooms
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes
- 2 cans Campbell's Beef Consomme
- 1 bunch fresh dill, chopped
- 1 cup farro (barley would work too)
- kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and italian seasoning to taste (use a tad more than you think you need)

Making it is easy, combine all of the ingredients above plus 2 consomme cans of water in a large slow cooker.  Mix them up well, cover, and go to work while your dinner cooks away!  I like my stew on the thicker side, so about 1/2 hour before I serve, I mix together about 1 Tb of cornstarch with 1 Tb of water and then pour that into the stew and stir.  Let that cook a little longer to integrate - it'll give the stew more of a gravy consistency.  Serve and enjoy!

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